Growing Carrots

Latest Update 27th August 2017.

Carrots
  • I sow carrots thinly twice a year in a group.  I harvest them without thinning in bunches from one end.
  • I mostly steam or roast them in their skins or shred them onto salads when they are small and succulent.  As they get bigger they become an important component in vegetable soups and casseroles.
  • Carrots grow slowly and can be harvested when required directly from the soil, pulling them out in small bunches to be cooked and eaten right away.
  • You will not find sweeter carrots than those grown organically in your own garden, they are are a great source of dietary fibre and micronutrients. 
  • I have grown Carrots for many years in my garden without significant pest problems.
Details.
  • Binomial Name:                                        Daucus carota.
  • Family group:                                           Apiaceae. 
  • Variety:                                                    Nantes.
  • Crop rotation group:                                  Light feeders.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Recommended soil pH:                             5.5 - 7.0.
  • Minimum sun per day:                              5 hours.
  • Plant spacing:                                          Broadcast then thin out.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                    12 - 18 weeks.
  • Good companions:                                   Pea. radish. lettuce. sage. onion. leek.
  • Climate:                                                   Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern hemisphere.
Nutrition.
  • This food is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 
  • It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin K and manganese. 
  • More from nutrition data.self.com.
    Maintaining Ecobed Productivity. 

    • Check out my blogpage which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves.
    Propagating Seedlings. 

    • Check out my blogpage which explains how I propagate seeds.
    Propagation Plan.

    • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
    Growing Instructions.
    • Remove the mulch from the prepared bed and rake the top 10mm of soil until it has a very fine structure and then add a 5mm layer of organic seed raising mix or finely sieved compost on top.
    • Combine half a teaspoonful of seed with fine sand in a large jar with a perforated lid.  Shake it up well and scatter the mixture on top of the prepared soil in a 300mm wide band.  Apply a light covering of sieved compost or organic seed raising mix.
    • The sand helps controls the density and distribution of your carrots.  Water them in well and keep them moist until they germinate.
    • They take a lot longer than most vegetable seeds, so be patient.
    • When they are about 50mm tall, thin them out and leave them to grow.
    Harvesting and Storage.
    • Start harvest them in small bunches as you need them from one end of the bed, and cover any exposed roots with soil or compost.
    • If you have planted the right quantity, you will finish harvesting them just as they reach peak size and quality.
    • Harvest your carrots by grasping the foliage as close to their roots as possible and carefully pull them out of the soil.  Fill the hole left behind with soil.
    • I don't peel carrots fresh from the garden, I cook them in their skins after removing soil with a vegetable brush.  
    • To store carrots, clean and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minute.  After cooling and drying them, store them in the freezer in resealable bags.  Alternatively, if your climate allows, grow them all year round and store them in the soil until needed.
    Organic Pest Control.
    • Carrots, like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my garden.  My blog on "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them.  For details click on the appropriate link below.
    • Slugs and snails.
    • Carrot fly. 
    • Birds.